Changing the flooring in any room can make a big change to that room’s appearance. Not only that, flooring can impact the functionality and maintenance of that room, so you want to pick wisely when replacing your flooring. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right flooring for any room in your home.
Different types of flooring
Before you start shopping, you want to make sure you completely understand what the different types of flooring options are. Here is a brief rundown of the four most popular types of flooring:
- Ceramic Tile – tile is one of the more durable materials for flooring. Ceramic tile can be used as floor tiles, indoors, or even as countertops. Some types of ceramic tiles with high gloss finish tend to scratch over the time. In general, tile is easy to clean.
- Laminate – laminate flooring is very easy to maintain. Laminate flooring provides a strong, durable surface that can resist burns, scratches, chips and gouges. It is an excellent option for high traffic areas, can be made to look like natural materials and comes in a wide range of colors and designs.
- Carpet – carpet is a textile floor covering typically consisting of an upper layer of pile attached to a backing. The pile was traditionally made from wool, but, since the 20th century, synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon or polyester are often used, as these fibers are less expensive than wool. Options usually entail styles such as cut pile, plush pile, Saxony, twist, frieze and many more.
- Wood – hardwood flooring presents a combination of beauty and durability. Hardwood flooring comes in Maple, Pecan, Beech, Cherry, Oak, Pine, Birch, Walnut, Hickory and more. Hardwood does require some maintenance and can scratch and wear with high use, though that sometimes adds to its attractive lived in look overall.
Of course, there are other flooring options such as bamboo, cork, marble or even stamped concrete for those ultra-modern homes, but the above is the four most common.
How to pick the right flooring for any room in your house
Different types of flooring provide different benefits and drawbacks. There are essentially four items to take into consideration when choosing flooring for your home:
- Your personal décor style
- Your lifestyle
- The function of the room
- Your budget
Let’s look at each one for a moment. Unlike throw pillows or even furniture, flooring is a permanent commitment, so you want to make sure that you like the look overall, so consider your style. Are you casual? Modern? Trendy? Do you like farmhouse chic or a more polished, refined look? Look at your house as a whole, and then look at the room. What kind of style are you looking for? High polished dark tile flooring will provide a completely different look than distressed wood or even wood tiles. Even different types of carpet give a different feel to a room. Really connect with the overall look you want. If you’re truly not sure, or are looking to make a big change in your personal décor style, it might be a smart idea to engage in professional design services to help you determine what you want.
Lifestyle should be a big, big consideration when choosing flooring! Wood flooring, for example, is gorgeous and durable, but it may not be durable enough for your three 50+ pound, active dogs whose claws can do a number on a nice wood floor in no time. Same goes for Berber carpet which can snag. Do you have lots of little ones running around, along with lots of spills? Tile might be a good option for you to stand up to high traffic and easy clean up. If you have a large brood of kids, pets and overly active teenagers, you may even want to consider a good laminate. Different types of flooring hold up better to lifestyles, and tile and laminate require less maintenance than carpet and wood floors.
Let’s talk about the function of the room. Kitchens and bathrooms require a completely different consideration than, say, living rooms or bedrooms. You likely wouldn’t put carpet in the kitchen or the bathroom, and most people won’t put laminate down in the master bedroom. Bedrooms tend to be warm, comfortable and inviting, so people tend to opt for carpet, or they’ll choose tile or wood for the polished look and lower maintenance and add an area rug. Look at those high traffic areas like hallways and decide what will hold up the best and require the least maintenance.
And of course, there’s the budget to consider. Laminate is likely your least expensive option and while real wood floors can be an investment. Working with an experienced interior designer will help you decide the value of the flooring option vs. the expense. They’ll guide you through what your best options are based on all the considerations discussed.
Flooring can be a big but exciting investment! Understanding your options and knowing what each option offers will help you choose the right flooring for any room in your home.